Man found guilty in fatal DWI on Southern State

Prosecutors say O'Neil Sharpe Jr. caused the fiery crash on the Southern State Parkway in 2015.

Prosecutors say O'Neil Sharpe Jr. caused the fiery crash on the Southern State Parkway in 2015. (2/2/17)

CENTRAL ISLIP - A Rockville Centre man accused of driving drunk in a fatal hit-and-run crash on Long Island was found guilty on all counts Friday afternoon.

Prosecutors say Oniel Sharpe Jr., of Rockville Centre, was drunk and driving at high speeds on July 12, 2015 when he slammed into the back of a car carrying the Ostane family from Queens.

The crash killed Ancio Ostane, his 8-year-old son and his 4-year-old daughter. The children's mother survived the crash.  

Authorities say Sharpe then abandoned his car and was picked up by a friend who drove him to Rockville Centre, where he was arrested four hours later.

Cellphone video presented during the trial appears to show Sharpe throwing a bottle of tequila into the woods while the Ostane car burned in the background.

Court records show Sharpe had a blood alcohol level of .06 percent more than 4 hours after the accident. Prosecutors used a special scientific analysis called retrograde extrapolation, to show Sharpe's blood alcohol level was at least twice as high at the time of the crash.

"We wouldn't have had to use it had he not fled the scene and hid from police," says prosecutor John Scott Prudenti. "He was caught and ultimately brought to justice."

It took the jury a day and a half to deliberate before finding the 26-year-old guilty on aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter in the second degree, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and tampering with evidence.

The wife and mother of the victims was not in the courtroom for the verdict. Sharpe's family left without comment. He will be sentenced at a later date.

According to a police release, Sharpe still faces 23 other criminal charges related to the discovery of 23 fraudulent credit cards found in the car he was driving.

 

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